Contest Winner: Krishna's Cumin & Date Cooler

March's recipe contest winner for best summer drink is Krishna G. She writes that this is a great summer drink you can indulge on, without worrying about calories. 'Using the freshness of mint and lemons, combining spices, and replacing sugar with the sweetness of dates, makes this a guilt-free, energizing drink for the summer!'

Recipe contest: Cumin and date cooler

1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tbsp whole cumin
8-1o dates, deseeded
Fresh mint leaves, a handful
4 limes/ lemons
1 tbsp black salt
Salt, to taste
6-8 cubes of ice 

Dry roast the peppercorns and cumin seeds on low heat until fragrant. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely.
In a pan, bring some water to boil. Add the de-seeded dates and let it cook for 8-10 minutes until soft.
In a blender, add in the roasted cumin, peppercorns, black salt, regular salt, mint leaves and dates, and juice from the limes.
Blend until it forms a smooth paste.
In a large pitcher, add the paste and top with water. Taste, and adjust for sweetness. Mix well, and serve in tall glasses with ice and mint leaves to garnish.

Image credit: Anisha Rachel Oommen